Best Model Railroad of the East Bay

Golden State Model Railroad Museum

There are several model railroading clubs and organizations in the East Bay, but the Golden State Model Railroad Museum is the one whose layout provides the best look at the East Bay’s own railroading history. The sponsoring East Bay Model Engineers Society dates back to the 1930s, and moved into its current location (at the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline) in 1985. It runs N, O, and HO scale layouts, covering more than 10,000 square feet. Like many California model railroads, the Tehachapi loop is represented, but it’s the HO layout’s depiction of East Bay features, including the Oakland Mole, 16th Street Passenger Terminal and trolley systems, and the rail connections from the urban core to valley towns and the Sierras that are particularly interesting. Running trains can be viewed by the public, noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays from April through December. The museum also has open hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays, though stock may not be rolling. Special holiday shows are open throughout December. And while you’re there, don’t miss TV personality Tom Snyder’s tin-plate layout in the basement!


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